Wrestling legend Jake 'the Snake' Roberts thankful for sobriety, - FOX Carolina 21

Wrestling legend Jake 'the Snake' Roberts thankful for sobriety, bright future

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Jake "the Snake" Roberts poses for a photo with FOX Carolina photojournalist Mindy Cecil (FOX Carolina) Jake "the Snake" Roberts poses for a photo with FOX Carolina photojournalist Mindy Cecil (FOX Carolina)
Roberts with a 'Wrestling Buddy' doll in his likeness (FOX Carolina) Roberts with a 'Wrestling Buddy' doll in his likeness (FOX Carolina)
GAFFNEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Jake "the Snake" Roberts.

If you're a professional wrestling fan, you've heard the name.

Roberts rose to fame in the World Wrestling Federation (currently the WWE) in the 1980s by finishing off his opponents with his finishing move, coined the DDT, and then terrorizing them with a large python named Damien that Roberts always brought with him to the wrestling ring.

In the ‘90s he spiraled into drug and alcohol addiction and disappeared from the rosters of major wrestling promotions. Roberts struggle with drugs became a public focal point after he was featured in the 1999 documentary Beyond the Mat, a film that focused on the lives of professional wrestlers outside the ring.

In 2012, Roberts made the decision to get clean after some persuasion from fellow wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page.

Roberts has lost more than 60 pounds, underwent surgery, battled and defeated throat cancer and also re-ignited his career in the two years since.

Roberts was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in March 2014, and during a meet-and-greet with fans at the SC Peach Festival in Gaffney on Saturday, Roberts said his future is looking brighter than it has in decades.

He said he has lots of work lined up, ranging from movie appearances, voice overs and public appearances.

"Possibilities are endless because you can get a job when you're sober," Roberts said.

Roberts said he spent too many years sitting at home and getting high, and now realizes how much he was missing in his life, including his family.

"I can honestly say life is paradise. It really is," Roberts said. "I've reclaimed my family. My grandkids love me. Now my kids don't mind me being around the grandkids. Before they were like ‘no dad, you can't see them' because I was a mess."

Roberts said he has God to thank for saving his life, and that a recent diagnosis has shed some light on many of his dark years.

"I was diagnosed with depression" Roberts said.

Roberts said he was unwittingly "self-medicating" with drugs and alcohol for too many years.

"But now I'm taking the right medication and feel great," Roberts said.

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